During my trip to Chicago last month, I encountered several ringed (or ‘banded’ as they say in America) Herring Gulls.
Unfortunately, all of them were fitted with metal rings (referred to as ‘federal bands’) which are just as difficult to read in the States as they are over here in Europe.
I only managed to read one, which funnily enough was the very first one that I encountered the very first time that I went out gull watching during my trip. The gull in question – a 2nd-calendar year American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus – was fortunately very active, which allowed me to take enough photos to capture the full code. This was a good thing because the band was fitted upside down…
I made the observation at the BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA:
After submitting my observation on the Web site of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Bird Banding Laboratory, I was pleasantly surprised to be immediately presented with the ringing details:
INFORMATION FROM OUR FILES:
Species: HERRING GULL
Date banded: 06/24/2013
Banding Location: NEAR SISTER BAY, DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN, USA
Age: WAS TOO YOUNG TO FLY WHEN BANDED IN 2013
[Update] This was followed by a nice certificate the next day:
Sister Bay, Wisconsin lies at the very north of Lake Michigan, some 390km (244 miles) north of Chicago.
Here are some more photos: